Sun. Dec 16th, 2018

NFL refs director on criticism: ‘We call what we’re told to call’

Despite a recent wave of criticism from coaches and players regarding officiating - particularly around the new roughing the passer rules - NFL Referees Association executive director Scott Green says officials are grading out with a high percentage of correct calls while adapting to the league's evolving rule changes.

"There will be issues with officiating. There always are," Green told NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. "The issue from our standpoint is: We call what we're told to call. It's how well is that being interpreted? And how well is that being presented to us? To the extent that they're trying to get video out, when you start making changes in the season - obviously, I'm not saying that shouldn't be done, but it does require adjustment and it seems like we're doing some adjusting this year.

"It's all about consistency. Everybody wants consistency. We want to be consistent. Coaches want it. Players. It makes for a better game. If adjustments are going to be made, we'll try to catch up and make sure we're making the adjustments as everyone sees fit."

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was fined $25,000 on Wednesday for criticizing referees after Sunday's win over the Atlanta Falcons, calling the officiating "a joke." New York Giants players also bashed officials after a Week 5 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

While Green said pointing out a potential mistake made by officials is "understandable," he believes referees have adapted to the new rules efficiently and penalties haven't affected the flow of games thus far.

"The state of officiating is pretty good, actually," Green said. "It seems officiating has kept up with the pace of the game, has kept up with the new rules, and frankly, as long as our guys know what the league wants called and the competition committee can make that clear and the message can be made clear, then that's what we're going to call."

Though the amount of roughing the passer calls have increased in 2018, the number of total penalties are down from last year, per Pelissero.

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